Whether you have been sober for ten minutes or 10 years, living a sober life will always have its challenging moments. As the years go on, however, you’ll often find you’re better equipped to deal with these challenges and temptations as they pop up.
You’ll also find over time there are certain tips and strategies that help you maintain your sobriety. While there isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach, there are several tips most sober people find useful for maintaining their sobriety and today we’re going to share those with you.
Here are seven tips for living a sober life successfully.
7 Tips For Living a Sober Life Successfully
Make new habits and traditions
Once you start living a sober life, you’ll often find many of the habits and traditions you once enjoyed revolved around substance abuse. Sometimes there’s a way to return to these habits without falling into the same old trap of addiction. But instead, why not create all new habits and traditions? That way, you are forming new pathways in your brain and growing accustomed to your new sober lifestyle.
For example, you might have had the previous habit of hitting the neighborhood pub every Friday after work. Or maybe it was a tradition to visit this pub with your friends over Christmas break.
Instead, why not join a sports league that meets after work on Fridays? This is exchanging an old habit that no longer serves you for something healthier and more conducive to maintaining a sober lifestyle. As for the annual pub trips with your friends on the holidays, consider asking them to meet at the local skating rink instead.
And remember, if your friends or family members are accepting or understanding of your need to create new habits and traditions, it’s okay to create space and boundaries with them.
Learn to set boundaries as part of living a sober life
On the subject of boundary-setting, we know this is an important, and often difficult, subject for people living in recovery. But you’ll also find this is an incredibly useful skill that can come into play as you live your sober life.
In this post, “How to Set Boundaries With Family: Helpful Strategies You Can’t Miss” we list a number of strategies for setting boundaries with family members, including creating coping strategies for the triggers that can come up when doing so:
“Any conversation with family can be triggering. If you’re in recovery, it’s incredibly important to be aware of these potential triggers before you have a boundary-setting conversation with your family. Further, it’s important to have coping strategies in place for managing these triggers.
This is another example of a time when having your sober companion can prove to be especially helpful. They will also be aware of your triggers and they’ll be aware of the coping strategies that can help you handle temptations and other challenges.”
Find an exercise you love
The benefits of exercise, whether you’re living a sober life or not, are profound. From the cardiovascular benefits to the mood-boosting effects, there are virtually no downsides to getting into a healthy habit of regular exercise!
When it comes to those living in recovery, however, the mood-boosting benefits can be particularly helpful. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These are the “happy” hormones, and they can produce a similar euphoria to what many people experience from drug and alcohol use.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder many people in recovery find it useful to put their energy into exercising!
(Did you know our sober companion services involve teaching healthy habits, including encouraging regular exercise? They also incorporate and teach about healthy eating habits, encourage regular sleep habits to assist in daily sober living, and help clients develop daily practices to help prevent relapse. Learn more about our sober companion services by clicking here)
Pick up a new hobby
Distraction can be an incredibly useful tool when you’re focusing on living a sober life. Of course, taking the time to reflect is always important. But when you can occupy your mind and body with a new hobby? Then this can help keep you working toward long-term sobriety!
What’s great about hobbies is that the options are almost endless for what yours can be! And you also have the freedom to try a bunch of new things until you land on something you really enjoy and want to stick with.
Not sure where to start?
Here are a few hobbies you might consider picking up:
- Collecting art
- Learning a new language
On the subject of volunteering, let’s also talk about how giving back can also help you keep living a sober life.
When you’re in recovery, giving back gives you something else to focus on, it helps others, and it also makes you feel good in the process. Not to mention, many people who are in recovery struggle with feelings of guilt. By volunteering or giving back in another way, it can help you overcome these feelings.
Did you know there are also a number of health benefits associated with giving back?
Here’s how Harvard Health Publishing explains it:
“A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.
Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published this month in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. High blood pressure is an important indicator of health because it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.”
Work with a sober coach or companion
Particularly when you’re just starting on the road to living a sober life, a sober coach or a sober companion can be incredibly helpful. In fact, for many people, this is a suitable alternative to inpatient rehabilitation services or as a continuum of care to residential treatment.
Learn a bit more about these sober services here, or click on the links to dive deeper into how they work:
Sober companions: “A sober companion is someone who confidentially guides someone in their new path of recovery. Our goal is to help to maintain sobriety and focus on setting goals towards a better future for you. Sober companions engage with individuals in their home environment to achieve these goals. We typically live in the home of the person receiving help. This can be done for any period of time ranging from two weeks to a year, depending on the circumstances and the individuals’ needs. They provide 24/7 accountability for the day to challenges of early sobriety. We will immerse you within the recovery community and get you quickly acclimated with your new way of life in recovery.”
Sober coaches: “A sober coach is someone who helps individuals through the low spots of early recovery. Sober coaches do not live with individuals, but they do offer a multitude of services very similar to Sober Companions. Our sober coaches are much more of a mentor to the client, helping to guide them in decisions & integrating them into the recovery community.”
Find a counselor you trust
There are benefits to regular meeting with a counselor whether you’re living a sober life or not. For those in recovery, working with an addiction counselor can be useful for helping you maintain long-term sobriety.
Thanks to their specialized training, they’re able to help people in recovery uncover the patterns, triggers, and behaviors that have led them to where they are. They can also help people in recovery learn more about themselves, create coping strategies, set boundaries with friends and family members, and much more.
Did you learn a lot from these tips for living a sober life?
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